Tuesday, 1 December 2015

RTI Only pleas - Central Information Commission returned over 8,500 RTI pleas in eight months

NEW DELHI: The Central Information Commission (CIC) has returned 8,534 cases -almost 15 per cent of the cases received -to applicants over eight months on technical grounds.

An analysis of CIC data conducted by Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative reveals that CIC has increasingly been returning appeals and complaints to the applicants since June. The number of cases returned has shown a steady upward trend since January with most number of cases -1,800 or 21.68 per cent -being returned in July.As first reported by ET on October 9, the number of cases being registered by CIC has witnessed a 96 per cent fall over just four months as increasingly the transparency watchdog has been returning the cases to the applicants on technical grounds. 

The analysis reveals that between January and August, CIC had received 57,574 cases. It returned 14.82 per cent or 8,534 of the complaints and appeals received by it. In this time period, CIC received and returned most number of cases in July. 

Activists have pointed out that the number of cases being returned has coincided with new chief information commissioner Vijai Sharma taking the reins of CIC. According to sources, Sharma has issued instructions to ask all applicants to furnish photo identity proof along with the applications. This follows a 2012 order of Punjab and Haryana high court that had asked the state information commission to seek photo proof along with applications but this directive was not issued to CIC. 

Venkatesh Nayak of CHRI says, "CIC has a duty to assist the appellants and complainants to cure any technical defects in their submissions."

SOURCE - m.economictime.